Wednesday, June 15, 2022

WEP & Schrodinger's Letter

Like Schrodinger’s cat, the envelope rested on Ty’s kitchen island. Propped against the pepper mill.

It had been the first thing he’d spotted after the worst shift in his time as store manager.

Five shoplifters today. One had stormed out with an entire cart of groceries. She’d shoved it out the doors like she was a race car circuit. But it had been a hard right turn into the parking lot and she’d dumped the entire cart in the roadway. Then she’d run off calling him names he’d never heard before.

Two more tried to walk away with chocolate bars. Grown adults risking a charge over a hunk of chocolate.

One had played the, “Oh, I forgot I didn’t pay. I didn’t realize I almost broke the turnstile by going out the in,” routine. But he’d paid, so they hadn’t charged him.

The fifth had been a woman who shoved a frozen turkey under her sweater and into the top of her pants, pretending to be pregnant.

A frozen turkey.

And she hadn’t been smart enough to not have the tag sticking out the front of her sweater.

Then the debit machines had shut down bringing out tears and the angry idiots of the world.

A pallet of soda had been tipped over. And, no, the store wasn't going to pay the dry cleaning bill for the dingbat who'd tried bodysurfing through the orange goo.

All in all, a hell of a shift.

And now a letter bearing his name in Sadie’s handwriting on his island.

He couldn’t move past it. Couldn’t go forward or back. He was stuck in limbo exactly like Schrodinger’s cat.

If he didn’t open the letter, it could be both good and bad news at the same time. Once he opened it, he’d know.

Who wrote letters anymore?

Sadie had never written him a letter before.

Things were going well. Really well. He’d been thinking about shopping for a ring.

What was in the letter?

He finally unglued his feet and picked up the envelope. Not a business envelope, not a Christmas-card-sized one either. Smaller.

Stomach churning, Ty turned the white envelope over but there were no clues on the other side.

Closing his eyes, he blew out a deep breath and imagined a box. He opened the flaps of the imaginary box and a healthy cat popped out to grin at him.

His big hands fumbled with the flap of the envelope, but he didn’t want to tear the paper. Once it was open, he peeked inside to see a folded piece of paper.

No writing on the outside. He was still in the box.

Ty slid out the paper and blew out another breath.

He unfolded the paper.

A cartoon filled it. On the left, Sadie had drawn Ty conked out on a recliner with ZZZZZ printed above his head.

On the right, she’d drawn herself carrying a pizza box and a six-pack.

Heard about the shift. Take a snooze. I’ll see you in an hour. Love Sadie.

Love Sadie.

Schrodinger’s cat was alive and well.

Carrying the letter, Ty headed to the recliner and pulled out his phone. The weariness of the shift was gone. Time to find the perfect ring.


Tagline: A letter propped on a pepper mill and an empty house. Good or bad?

The above is part of the WEP Challenge for June: Please Read The Letter.

This is another song I didn't know before the challenge. I listened to it a few times, but I just wasn't in the mood for a heartbreak story, so I focused on the title itself rather than the song.

Please check the links below to find more flash prompted by the song or the title!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG & Crisis Scenes

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

IWSG badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!    

June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

I'm one of those people who knows the ending before I start. I write romance and I know my characters are going to work their butts off to get to that happy ever after. I know the emotions I want and how the characters have to fix themselves to get there.

My biggest struggles come when I have to write the big dark crisis moments. *sigh*

It can take me a few days to work up to writing scenes where my characters are scared and being hurt. When I was little, my parents banned my from watching Little House On The Prairie because it was often too traumatic for me.


So, I'm basically a big ball of emotions tied together with enough grit to not fall apart in public.

To get through those difficult scenes, I let my subconscious play around with different variations until I'm ready. Then I write the scenes as quickly as I can. Once I've seen them save themselves and each other, I'm good and I can go back to revise and edit.

If I'm stuck (which doesn't happen often), I delete the last chapter and start again. I'm usually stuck because I haven't followed my gut and haven't listened to my characters.

How about you? Any other balls of emotion out there? Anyone else still devastated by the scene when Mary thought she was getting her sight back, but had been tricked by the clicks...? Anyone else need to let their characters take the lead?